State Rep. Will Coursey files response in job-retaliation lawsuit

jcheves@herald-leader.comOctober 11, 2013 

State Rep. Will Coursey, D-Symsonia, on Friday accused a legislative aide of "bragging about her sexual exploits and describing them in detail" in his response to her job-retaliation lawsuit in Franklin Circuit Court.

Nicole Cusic, who works for the Legislative Research Commission, sued Coursey, the LRC and former LRC director Bobby Sherman on Oct. 1. Cusic claimed she was retaliated against when she was moved to a different office after she complained to Coursey about what she said was his inappropriate behavior with a legislative intern.

In his response, Coursey said Cusic's suit failed to describe an employment action that was adverse to her and was filed after the statute of limitations expired. Also, she talked dirty at the state Capitol, he said.

"The damages complained of by the plaintiff, that is being shunned, humiliated, degraded, alienated and constantly uncomfortable are the result of her own actions in describing, in detail, her sexual exploits in front of other LRC workers, representatives, senators and visitors," the response states.

Cusic's attorney, Thomas Clay, said in an interview Friday that Cusic didn't accuse Coursey of creating a sexually hostile work environment; she accused him of on-the-job retaliation after she questioned his pursuit of an intern.

"Basically, what Mr. Coursey has chosen to do is start throwing dirt," Clay said. "And I can tell you this, if Mr. Coursey wants to start a dirt-throwing contest, he's gonna end up pretty dirty himself."

Clay also represents two other LRC employees, Yolanda Costner and Cassaundra Cooper, who sued state Rep. John Arnold Jr., D-Sturgis, accusing him of sexual harassment. Arnold denied the allegation but resigned from the legislature. A legislative investigation into that matter is pending.

John Cheves: (859) 231-3266. Twitter: @BGPolitics. Blog: bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com

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